Main Engine Cut Off

Opinion and analysis of spaceflight, exploration, policy, and strategy, by Anthony Colangelo.

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T+280: VIPER Cancelled, Falcon 9 Grounded

NASA announced their intent to cancel VIPER, the rover that was due to go to the Moon on Astrobotic’s Griffin lander, after severe schedule and cost growth. SpaceX had a rare failure of Falcon 9 that has led to a (seemingly short) grounding of the vehicle.

📓 Show Notes

T+279: Phantom and VLEO (with JP Ramos, Business Development Manager at Redwire)

A few weeks ago, we talked about Redwire’s SabreSat spacecraft, and today we’re talking about their Europe-based Phantom spacecraft. We talk about the spacecraft platform itself, how the different parts of Redwire work together, VLEO and its use cases, and how to fly satellites through little bits of atmosphere.

📓 Show Notes

T+278: Firefly Alpha’s New Launch Sites, ISS News Blitz (Deorbit Vehicle, Collins Spacesuits, and Starliner)

Firefly added launch sites in Virginia and Sweden for its Alpha vehicle. NASA has selected SpaceX to build the ISS US Deorbit Vehicle, closed out their task orders to Collins for ISS spacesuits, and decided to keep Starliner at the ISS for a few more weeks.

📓 Show Notes

T+277: SabreSat, VLEO, and DARPA’s Otter Program (with Spence Wise, SVP of Missions and Platforms at Redwire)

Redwire announced today that it has been awarded a contract from DARPA to serve as the prime mission integrator for its Otter program. For the program, and for the industry beyond that, they’ll be developing SabreSat, an air-breathing spacecraft flying in VLEO. Spence Wise, Senior Vice President of Missions and Platforms at Redwire, joins me to discuss the program, VLEO generally, and to dive into the technical and operational details of SabreSat.

📓 Show Notes

T+276: Mars Sample Return Studies, NSSL Phase 3 Lane 1 Selections

NASA selected the organizations who will be carrying out mission design studies for the Mars Sample Return rethink, and the US Space Force selected the first 3 bidders for the National Security Space Launch Program Phase 3 Lane 1.

📓 Show Notes

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